Irrespective of the environment you are in, whether at your workplace or at home, everyone yearns for respect.
Transforming Yourself to be Most Valued
We are often witness to some people in an organisation gaining respect and confidence of colleagues and also becoming a favorite of their superiors and leaders.
How do they gain this respect? It is the outcome of possessing a magnificent attribute of being affable and oriented towards value-based work culture.
Getting respect of others in the team is not just a whimsical human trait. It is an essential prerequisite to improve your productivity and efficiency too
Of course! There are some among these people who endear themselves to superiors and leaders by resorting to sycophancy, which is neither enduring nor worth emulating.
There are myriad and more credible ways of commanding the confidence of your superiors and leaders in the team.
The desire to be recognised, to be valued, to be respected is a simple yet complex facet of human psychology. So, how do you get appreciation for your work?
Getting respect of others in the team is not just a whimsical human trait. It is an essential prerequisite to improve your productivity and efficiency too.
According to Linda Hill, co-author of ‘Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader’, “If you don’t feel respected, you won’t be engaged in your work”.
The ecosystem and the work culture in your organisation determine how best you can be valued. But, these are often not under your control.
However, you can reform and refine yourself to be most valued. To begin with, ask yourself some basic questions.
Here is what Linda A Hill suggests: Are you a value creator or a game changer? In what way are your leader and your team dependent on you?
Do you understand their strengths and weaknesses? Do you understand and appreciate their (leader and the team) priorities and pressures?
Do you understand their preferred working style? Do you really know what they expect from you in general and in specific terms?
Are you satisfied that these expectations are sensible and fair? Do you and your team and leader share the trust?
If you have a satisfactory, pragmatic and effective answer to these questions, you would become the most acceptable member of the team both for your peers and leaders.
Always remember, perform or perish is the mantra. If you perform many other aspects of your personality get glossed over.
There are times when an eagle flies below the hen, but a hen will never fly above the eagle. People around you appreciate performing individuals even when their personal behaviour is at times not so acceptable.
This brings to memory a personal episode during my school days. When I was in eighth standard, my headmaster once told me that while my mathematics, chemistry and English teachers appreciated my performance, my physics, biology and Hindi teachers, on the contrary, felt that I was a good-for-nothing student.
The headmaster was puzzled at getting these opposite views from my teachers and told me that he was unable to figure it out. He sought my response.
I smiled and said that everyone seems to be right. The fact of the matter is that wherever I performed well those teachers appreciated me.
The others obviously developed a dislike towards me. Therefore, I learnt in my childhood that performance is the key to acceptability and cordiality.
Rebecca Knight in an article, “How to Earn Your Manager’s Respect”, Harvard Business Review, December 2, 2016 provides us with some simple but really important parameters for gaining acceptability.
You should try to be indispensable for your organisation. You have to make value additions to the team. You should be viewed as deserving of challenging assignments.
Every organisation sometime or other confronts a critical time. Someone who comes forward to accept the responsibilities at that point of time earns maximum reliability.
Quite often, some people do everything except what they are supposed to do. Such a diversion is highly unwarranted. You should be conscious of your critical assignments. Productivity deficiencies can even cost your job.
After my graduation in journalism, I joined a reputed English newspaper for internship. I was asked to work with a senior.
He was a terrible taskmaster. Everyone in the office felt intimidated as he was arrogant and short-tempered. Many accomplished journalists found it difficult to get along with him.
I was just learning. The world of journalism in a newspaper is very different from what I learnt in the journalism school.
But, I tried to figure out the positive aspect of his personality in my first encounter itself. I realised that he was extremely good at work.
And quite forthcoming, provided one has the ability to learn. I was honest, hardworking and very quick to learn. Enough, these attributes in me made me his favourite.
Everyone in the office wondered how I could do that and some of the seniors who were the victims of his high-handedness even started taking counseling from me on how to deal with that person.
When I once narrated this anecdote to students of management, I learnt what Michael Watkins, the distinguished professor of leadership and the author of ‘The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at all Levels’ said. Being seen as a fast learner can be a big driver of credibility.
The adaptability to the system is critical for healthy human relations among the team members.
When there is a mismatch between your style, tastes and behaviour with that of those with whom you are working, there will be disequilibrium, disengagement and finally entropy.
Instead, if you try to empathise, there would be symphony. When my parents moved to my city to stay with me, I told my wife a simple principle to adapt to new family environment.
Do not reject what my mother says. It will hurt her esteem. Try as much as you can to accommodate her likes and dislikes. Still, you make your own judgment.
This technique worked and continues to work excellently. Living with others, working with others is inevitable. Learn to go along with others. Transform Yourself to be Most valued.